Saudi Arabia will allow women to drive from next June, state media said Tuesday, in a historic decision that makes the Gulf kingdom the last country in the world to permit women behind the wheel.

The shock announcement comes after a years-long resistance from women’s rights activists, some of whom were jailed for defying the ban on female driving.

The decision risks riling religious conservatives and is part of the government’s major reform drive, conceived by powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“The royal decree will implement the provisions of traffic regulations, including the issuance of driving licences for men and women alike,” the Saudi Press Agency said.

It added that the decree would be implemented from June 2018.

The announcement follows a dazzling gender-mixed celebration of Saudi national day at the weekend, the first of its kind, which aimed to spotlight the kingdom’s reform push, analysts say, despite a backlash from religious conservatives… see more

source: dawn , Khaleejtimes